A beginning is the time for taking the
most delicate care
that the balances are
- Dune, Frank Herbert
With Style Comes Responsibility
I just finished reading José Saramago's novel Blindness, a profound book with a very gritty and complicated portrait of human nature and its strengths and frailties. The first thing that strikes you about this book is its minimalist overhaul of conventional style. The text is bound in these huge, unbroken paragraphs without breaks for dialogue, no quotation marks, and long passages uninterrupted by periods that result in grammatical run-ons and comma splices.
You realize very quickly that this dramatic style is not just an eye-catcher, but conveys the disorientation of the novel's subject (an epidemic of blindness) and occasions some beautiful passages of what I could only call pure poetry. It also impacts the voice of the narration, which seems to change at random and mirrors the complex nature of describing a world without seeing characters (save one, but I'll let you read it for yourself).
Here, now, at the beginning of the Electric Didact's journey,
Now there is no music other than that of words, and these, especially those in books, are discreet, and even if curiosity should bring someone from the building to listen at the door, they would hear only a solitary murmur, that long thread of sound that can last into infinity, because the books of this world, all together, are, as they say the universe is, infinite.
Story Shall Not Live by Style Alone...
My point is that style is a choice made at the beginning of a work that, while being a deceptively easy one to make, has great implications for how a story is told, received, and created. Here, now, at the beginning of the Electric Didact's journey, I find it important to remember that while I have the ability to make some pretty awesome design and style choices right off the bat, a good story (and a good blog, no doubt) does not live by style alone, but by every word contained therein.
Lay in a course, because we're ready to make way.
Jedd Cole is a professional writer and author of short speculative fiction. He resides in Ohio where he is completing a degree in Rhetoric & Professional Writing, crafting short stories in every time-nook he can find, all while frequenting the pages of imaginary worlds with his wonderful wife, Heather and no pets. None.